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Monday, June 02, 2008

Prayer

I've been praying the Liturgy of the Hours for several weeks now (thanks to my friend who gifted her LOH to me!), and I'm constantly amazed at the incredible treasures in these volumes! Most often I read the Office and pray Morning Prayer, usually at work in the church or in the chapel, using it as time to get away from my desk and remind myself whom it is that I'm serving. And always, I'm thankful for the time in prayer, even if I'm rushing, even if I don't think I'm "getting anything out of it."

Usually I intend to also pray Evening Prayer at home, but then things get in the way and I don't do it. But tonight was God's evening, apparently. I had some errands and some chores, and then took the dog for a walk as dusk approached. I live near my own church, so often walk around the grounds and back home. Tonight, though, I stepped into the Fatima shrine, and the presence of Our Lady was so intense that each step of the rosary walk leading to the statue touched me in a whole new way.

I arrived home, feeling somewhat...contemplative...and after returning some phone calls I settled down to prayer. I did not pray Morning Prayer today as usual as I had a series of meetings all day, so I sat down on the couch and just began to read.

Each word, for some reason tonight, seemed to leap off the page. And this has been happening more and more frequently as I've become accustomed to praying the LOH. More and more I'm seeing how God reaches out to us on such a deep level, wanting us to understand how intimately He knows us, with a knowledge that far surpasses our own comprehension. And when we realize this incredible intimacy, we cannot help but reach back to Him, immersing ourselves in His own words, and allowing the wisdom of 2,000 years of great Saints speak to us, bringing us ever closer to Our Lord. And it's here that the dialogue of prayer is born; a conversation of a mystical sort, taking place at the level of the soul. We may be intellectually processing words on a page, but something deeper is happening, inspiring us to desire greater holiness.

I'm constantly amazed at the accuracy of the readings as they apply to my everyday struggles; whether it be with life, with sin, with temptation, or, conversely, how the readings likewise correspond to all of my joys and successes!

We have a God who knows us, who loves us, and who has created us entirely for Himself. He constantly extends this invitation in His gentle ways, beckoning us to turn from ourselves and towards Him, and that is the only way any of us will ever find true happiness.

9 comments:

RJW said...

Very well said!!!

Anonymous said...

Amen!

I was praying for Brianna, a girl who was in a serious car accident. She went in for surgery this morning (7:30am). Before Mass this morning (about 6:45) I just asked God for guidance...and opened the missal.

God led me to Mark 2: 1-12!

Yes, God knows us very well!
LM

uncle jim said...

BINGO!

(if you're not familiar with that word, it is a Catholic theological term usually used to mean 'on the mark', or 'look! i've got all them little squares covered' )

Adoro te Devote said...

RJW ~ Thanks! (And it's always nice to "see" you!)

LM ~ I read that passage when I received your comment...perfect! I just love it when God does that. :-)

Uncle Jim ~ ROFL! Let me check my theological sources for that definition....oh..there it is! Right under an entry for "Uncle Jim's theological definitions."
:-)

Kevin said...

thank you for the reminder. I wasn't able to finish morning prayer (Lauds) before heading off to work. After reading thi morning's blog entry I went to the website http://www.universalis.com/ and finished morning prayer.

Melody said...

It's funny how God often speaks to us through the LOH readings. Sometimes it becomes almost rote or automatic, then something leaps off the page and seems directed personally to you. I wish everyone could have taken the class we had which was taught by a Benedictine sister who really loved and understood the LOH. (At present, Sister is in Tanzania on a mission assignment; please pray for her.)

uncle jim said...

Melody,
does your husband do LOH more than once a day [i will presume once at least]
i was wondering which time of the day (lauds, matins) he finds most beneficial to him, or for whatever reason is his favorite
or maybe it is a matter of convenience as to which
i've always strived to do lauds to get the day going, but find myself doing another more often
do you have a favorite?

Melody said...

Jim, deacons (in our diocese) are required to do at least lauds and vespers. He also tries to do compline; as well as midday prayer; and the office of readings when he can. He says that vespers are his favorite, because it is less rushed; the workday is over and things are more relaxed. Most of the time I only do vespers, and the psalms and antiphons for morning prayer, because my mornings are pretty rushed. Actually when I remember to do it, compline is my favorite; I love the Canticle of Simeon. And I'm a little weird, because week 4 is my favorite cycle of readings.

Jennifer F. said...

Great post. The LOH has been such a blessing to me as well.